5 Takeaways From the LA Clippers’ 128-111 Win Over the Miami Heat

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard Patrick Beverley (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard Patrick Beverley (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

On the heels of eye-opening trades, the Miami Heat came into Staples Center today to take on the LA Clippers. After a competitive and sometimes rough first half, the second half showed the Clippers’ excellence.

This was an interesting game. The LA Clippers are still working out their continuity, which is a word Doc Rivers keeps hammering — and for good reason. It’s been a rarity this season that the Clippers have been able to play fully healthy. With this game against a contending Miami Heat in STAPLES Center, we see just what this team is capable of.

The Threes Rained Down

The LA Clippers shot a franchise-record 54 three-point attempts from behind the arc, knocking down an also franchise-record 23. In the first half, it didn’t look as this was going to be a winning strategy — even I said early on that this might not go right. But the important thing that kept them going at it was that nearly every shot was a good look — they were creating ball movement, and they were getting the shots.

When it came to the second half, everything changed. The shots they were getting were going in, and that was basically curtains for the Heat. Landry Shamet, who was being fed early and couldn’t get many of those shots to go, ended with 6 of 13 from three, walking away with 23 points on the night and 46% from three.

Pat Bev’s ongoing injury

We do have to talk about this. We will find out in the coming days just how much of a problem Patrick Beverley‘s groin injury is. He just recently came back from the very same injury. You put a gun to my head and I’ll tell you that this may be out of an abundance of caution, but the reality is that this team needs Pat Bev to be healthy.

We will keep an eye on this and update along the way.

Gabe Vincent, welcome to the NBA

He’s on the Heat, but we have to mention this out of respect — Gabe Vincent is a two-way player who played his second NBA game in his career. Then he got his first score — a three-pointer. Then his second score — back to back three-pointers. And then his third later on — another three-pointer.

His percentages ended not great, but he’s twenty-three years old and showed why the Heat likes him.

Zubac demonstrably deserves the minutes he’s getting

I keep trying not to beat this dead horse. I really, really do. And I love Montrezl Harrell. I want to make that clear. Ivica Zubac is an elite rim protector who’s not getting elite rim protector minutes, and against the Miami Heat — a team that’s going to compete in the playoffs and may be more than a dark horse for title contention — he showed exactly what he’s capable of.

Kawhi clearly trusts him on the floor and loves having his size on the offensive end. On the defensive end, Zubac adjusts opposing players’ shots the way that Trezz simply physically can’t. 21 minutes for Zubac and 26 minutes for Harrell might be just the right division of labor. Depending on the matchup, there should be a conversation on whether that distribution should be flipped.

Either way — Zubac is an overall plus for the Clippers team and not someone who just spells Harrell.

Harkless really doesn’t want to be traded

Harkless logged 11 points tonight, which continues his streak of being undefeated across the eight games he’s played where he scores 10 or more points. We’re posting this article tomorrow and there’s a very real possibility that he will be traded by the time we do post.

Next. Losing Iggy to the East is best case scenario. dark

But every time he knocked down a shot, it was a pivot point. It slowed down a Miami run or got the Clippers going on their own runs. He doesn’t collect a lot of points, but when he scores, it’s largely impactful and during a part of the game where the LA Clippers really need scoring in that particular point in time.